Confessions of a Shopaholic
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic to the Stars. Becky Bloomwood has a fabulous flat in London’s trendiest neighborhood, a troupe of glamorous socialite friends, and a closet brimming with the season’s must-haves. The only trouble is, she can’t actually afford it—not any of it. Her job writing at Successful Saving magazine not only bores her to tears, it doesn’t pay much at all. And lately Becky’s been chased by dismal letters from the bank—letters with large red sums she can’t bear to read. She tries cutting back. But none of her efforts succeeds. Her only consolation is to buy herself something . . . just a little something. Finally a story arises that Becky actually cares about, and her front-page article catalyzes a chain of events that will transform her life—and the lives of those around her—forever. Praise for Sophie Kinsella and Confessions of a Shopaholic “A hilarious tale . . . hijinks worthy of classic I Love Lucy episodes . . . too good to pass up.”—USA Today “Kinsella’s Bloomwood is plucky and funny. . . . You won’t have to shop around to find a more winning protagonist.”—People “If a crème brûlée could be transmogrified into a book, it would be Confessions of a Shopaholic.”—The Star-Ledger “A have-your-cake-and-eat-it romp, done with brio and not a syllable of moralizing. . . . Kinsella has a light touch and puckish humor.”—Kirkus Reviews
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Authors often introduce the reader to the characters and the setting in the beginning of a novel. Based on this letter, what have you learned about the story so far?
From this letter, we have learned that the story takes place in London. We can tell because of the address and the mention of 2,000 pounds, which is British currency. (This annotation contains an image)
A "VISA bill" is a credit card bill that tells a person how much money is owed to their bank. (This annotation contains an image)
Based on the text, we can tell that Rebecca has issues with
"Quid" is British slang for money. (This annotation contains an image)
This paragraph reveals that Becky is in ________ about her bills.
Did you know that you can look up any word in the book or in the questions and answer choices? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a define option will appear. Use this feature to look up the word "knickers."
Based on the descriptions on this page, what is revealed about Becky's personality?
Fiona Phillips is an English journalist, broadcaster and television presenter. This mention of Fiona shows that Becky has career aspirations and dreams. (This annotation contains an image)
Which line from the text reveals that Becky has fears about money?
We have learned that Becky is a writer for a financial magazine. Based on what you have learned about her relationship to money, why is this ironic?
This statement reveals that Becky
Throughout this novel, the author will introduce you to language of the English culture. The "tube" is the name of the subway system in London. Notice other examples of cultural language as you read. (This annotation contains an image)
Becky's obsession with this scarf solidifies the fact that she is infatuated with
Authors always infuse conflict into a story because it helps develop the characters and creates a story arc. Watch this video about the different types of conflict in literature then respond to the following question. (This annotation contains a video)
Based on Becky's narration and her inner thoughts, which type of conflict does she encounter the most so far in the story?
Based on what you have learned about the young women in this story, what do you think a "modern girl" is? Use evidence from the text to support your assertion.
Use the define feature to learn what "incredulously" means.
Watch this short video then respond to the following question. (This annotation contains a video)
According to the video and the text, Becky is a "shopaholic" because
Do you think Becky's Mum's sense of fashion has influenced Becky?
The author most likely mentions the idea of "setting an example" on this page to show that
Good readers notice how authors structure a text. Watch this video then respond to the following question. (This annotation contains a video)
Based on the events that have unfolded so far, how does the author structure this text?
Now that the story has really taken off, watch this video about character development then respond to the following question. (This annotation contains a video)
How is Becky beginning to develop as a young woman?
"Telly" meaning "television" is an example of
People who have unhealthy relationships to money often look to the lottery to solve their financial woes. (This annotation contains an image)
This inner monologue shows that Becky is a bit _________ about money.
Becky asks herself these questions to show that she is grappling with the learning process of how to responsible manage money. Do you think she will learn her lesson?
You are learning a great deal about money by reading this story. "Advantage points" are credits you earn toward shopping when you spend a certain amount of money on a credit or membership card. This can be a money trap if you do not learn to manage it properly. (This annotation contains an image)
In 2-3 sentences, explain what is flawed about Becky's plan and how this plan could get her in more financial trouble.
Being "frugal" is a character trait that is used to describe people who are good at saving money. This is a good sign that Becky is beginning to think differently about money.
"Addiction" is defined as the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity. Becky shows she is addicted to shopping because
Does this behavior make you think Becky is a liar or just ditsy? Keep trying to figure her out based on what she says, thinks, does and how others respond to her.
These letters infuse a sense of humor into the text because in real life, banks do not care about excuses made for not paying bills. Do you think the bank's letter is sincere or sarcastic?
Which line from the text shows that Becky is beginning to change her attitude toward money?
Becky is seeking advice from people who are financially stable. It is true that eating at home instead of taking out food is a way to save.
Becky is browsing for recipes in order to
Based on what she does and how she responds to others, it is clear that Becky has some issues with anxiety. Do you think she will resolve this issue on her journey to becoming financially responsible?
Becky purchased the scarf she could not afford. In 2-3 sentences, explain what this purchase has revealed about her process toward becoming more responsible about money.
In addition to learning about money terms, you are also learning the language of fashion. This is what a double-breasted suit looks like. (This annotation contains an image)
Given the context, "osmosis" most likely means
Listen to the first minute of Pharrell William's "It Girl." Think about why Becky wants to be thought of this way by her friends and what this desire reveals about her personality. (This annotation contains a video)
Considering the dialogue, which word best describes the interaction Becky is having with her friend's cousin?
An Isolde, originating from an Opera, is the bride of the king of Cornwall who (according to legend) fell in love with the king's nephew (Tristan) after they mistakenly drank a love potion that left them eternally in love with each other. (This annotation contains an image)
How does Becky feel about Luke Brandon?
Good readers figure out characters based on what they say, think, do and how others respond to them. It is clear from the woman's response to Becky that she thinks Becky is naive.
The author puts the letter in a different format to
All of these questions that Becky is asking herself shows that she not only obsesses over money, but she obsesses over every aspect of her life.
Based on this mishap with the curry recipe, which type of conflict is Becky experiencing?
Keep in mind that these letters serve as an anchor for the reader to keep track of Becky's financial progress. Monitor her progression as you read.
Becky is exploring different ways she can become financially stable and pay her debts. Making more money (MMM) is certainly one of them.
Becky has a tendency to get herself involved in _________ situations.
"Bloody" is a term people use in England. This is an example of cultural context. See if you can find other examples as you read then figure out what they mean.
The author develops and incorporates new characters into the narrative to
A "kerfuffe" is a commotion or fuss, especially one caused by conflicting views. Remember, you can use the define feature to look up unfamiliar words.
In 2-3 sentences, summarize what just happened in the conference room.
Based on this paragraph, we have learned that Becky not only has issues navigating her own finances, she also has no clue about
These inner thoughts show that Becky is now considering a career change in order to make more money. She is thinking about money in a broader way. Even though she is struggling, this mindset shift shows progress.
Did you notice the little shopping bag drawing? Why might the author include this in the structure of the story?
Why is Becky pining over making picture frames?
Why is Becky making a big fuss over these zebra-print jeans?
This is a picture of a messy changing room. Is this how you picture this image? (This annotation contains an image)
In 2-3 sentences, explain how getting fired is evidence that Becky is still a shopaholic.
This line inserts humor into a dark situation and makes it clear that Becky is a little crazy.
Watch this video about the difference between static and dynamic characters then respond to the following question. (This annotation contains a video)
Based on what you have observed about Becky's personality so far, explain whether you think she is a static or dynamic character. Use evidence from the text so support your assertion.
Becky seems to be regressing. Once again she is showing denial about her debt and obligations. Where will this behavior get her?
Why is Becky's writing "filled with lots of splodgy typos"?
Based on this line, what can be logically inferred about Becky's progress?
This idea seems optimistic, but it furthers the idea that Becky is impulsive and does not think things through.
CV stands for curriculum vitae, which is Latin for 'course of life'. It is a summary of your experience, skills and education that is usually presented in the form of a resume in a job application or interview. (This annotation contains an image)
What does this response in Becky's interview reveal about her personality?
Becky's erratic behavior gets her nowhere. What would you have done differently in this situation?
The author most likely includes this inquiry from Luke to foreshadow that
Watch this trailer from the movie adaptation of this novel then respond to the following question. (This annotation contains a video)
How is the movie portrayal of Becky similar or different from the image you have in your head?
A "holdall" is a large rectangular bag with handles and a shoulder strap, used for carrying clothes and other personal belongings. (This annotation contains an image)
This narration shows that Becky is showing
What new information have we learned about Luke Brandon that might be crushing to Becky?
Harrods is an upmarket department store located in London that sells luxury goods. (This annotation contains an image)
Based on the structure of the letters, we have learned that business letters
A "corridor" is a long passage in a building from which doors lead into rooms. Picture Becky and Suze walking. (This annotation contains an image)
Despite thinking she may get fired, people at Becky's work show that they believe in her abilities because she keeps getting opportunities to highlight her skills.
What does this yawning action reveal about Becky's current perspective of finances?
The author most likely italicizes the word "are" in order to
Martin Bashir is a famous journalist and interviewer. Becky likens herself to him to show her demeanor during the interview. (This annotation contains an image)
When authors want to show a character's thought, they often put words and phrases in italics. Notice this as you continue to read.
In 2-3 sentences, explain why Becky is nervous and anxious about speaking with Erica.
Why is Becky anxious around Derek Smeath?
This is not a genuine response although it shows that Becky has learned how to compose herself even in the most stressful situations.
Vogue is arguably the world's leading fashion magazine. Mention of this magazine aligns with the topics and themes explored in this story. (This annotation contains an image)
By mentioning that Luke Brandon is a bachelor, the author is foreshadowing that
This fantasy about being "Tarquin's wife" shows that Becky has an _________ about her.
By reading this story, you are learning great deal about fashion and high-end items. "Coco Chanel" is a famous french perfume, and it is considered a luxury item. Notice other fashion brands as you read. (This annotation contains an image)
Lanesborough is a luxury hotel in London. Considering what you know about her, why is Becky excited about visiting a place like this? (This annotation contains an image)
What does this narration reveal about Becky's knowledge and interests?
When people are on dates or are meeting for the first time in an intimate setting, they often engage in small talk that usually has awkward moments. Notice the awkward moments as you read and see what they reveal about Becky.
Why does Becky respond to the Tarquin this way?
Why is Becky having this meeting with Tarquin?
Use the define feature to learn what "furrowed" means. Based on the definition, how is Tarquin feeling?
Which word from this page is an example of cultural context?
Becky's behavior is inappropriate at times. The fact that she is looking through Tarquin's checkbook shows that she still has issues with boundaries.
Based on her progression and the way she is behaving, explain if Becky is a "static" or "dynamic" character. Use evidence from the text to support your assertion.
Authors use descriptive words and phrases to paint images in the readers head. What image do you see as Becky shops? (This annotation contains a video)
Which word best describes Becky's current state given the decisions she is making in the store?
Becky is most likely retreating back home to her parents house because
An "alkie" is a nickname people give alcoholics or to be people they believe have a drinking problem. Do you think Becky is an alcoholic or are her parents just being overly cautious?
Examine this image of parents who are seemingly concerned about their daughter. Is this how you picture this scene? (This annotation contains an image)
The image of Becky in her "old bedroom" and in her "old nightie" shows that she is now
Things are unraveling fast for Becky. She keeps getting more and more bad news. This signals to the reading that a turning point in the story is approaching.
This line foreshadows that Becky will most likely start
Becky is yelling at her Mum because she is trying to ________ her debt.
Becky's narration reveals her inner torment about keeping secrets from her Mum. When you are in trouble, it is important to confide in your parents if they are available to you for support.
Watch this video about negative self talk then respond to the following question. (This annotation contains a video)
Negative self talk can be very harmful. What evidence do we have that Becky is changing her negative self talk into positive self talk?
A "beautician" is someone who works as a make-up artist or hair specialist. Do you think Becky would be better suited for this job, or is she selling herself short? (This annotation contains an image)
Becky's accomplishment brings a sense of _______ to her situation and the story.
As Becky experiences some relief in her career, a theme begins to emerge. Watch this video then respond to the following question. (This annotation contains a video)
Consider the lessons Becky is learning through her struggles with her job. In 2-3 sentences, explain the theme that is emerging. Use evidence from the text to support your idea.
Based on their actions, it is clear that Becky's parents are supporting her new job. This extra support should keep her in good spirits and on the right track.
The concerns about the "stalker" shows that
This is quite a lot of people. Make a prediction about how Becky will handle this then read to find out if your prediction is correct.
Given the context, the "dumbing down effect" most likely means
Through this experience, Becky is learning a great deal about
Becky is getting a little ahead of herself. She needs to keep this professional in order for it to work out. Do you think she will blow her chances?
Becky is getting conflicting directions. Now, she no longer needs to use the "dumbing down effect" on the audience. Can she handle the pressure?
Becky is utilizing her _____________ in order to change her attitude.
Jasper Conran is a real designer who makes clothing for men and women. Picture Becky in this outfit. (This annotation contains an image)
What does this line reveal about Becky's emotions?
The author is infusing suspense into the text by having a gift delivered to Becky. What do you think is in the box?
Given the context, "sod" most likely means
By giving details about the setting, the author is painting the scene for the reader. Notice aspects of setting as you read and think about how they incite emotion in Becky. (This annotation contains an image)
Why does the author choose to show Becky is extremely nervous at this point in the story?
Authors often use irony in a story in order to create intrigue and contrast. Watch this video about irony then respond to the following question. (This annotation contains a video)
Consider what you know about irony from the annotation above. Becky's knowledge of fashion has
Even though Becky has grown in maturity throughout her journey, this inner monologue shows that she is still a
The Ritz is a very upscale hotel that has locations around the world. It is known as an elegant, romantic hotel. (This annotation contains an image)
In 2-3 sentences, explain how this dialogue shows that Becky is now a more confident, professional woman.
Follow the link to skim a real article about pensions. This is probably similar to the format Becky used in her article. (This annotation contains a link)
There is a lot of descriptive imagery here. How do you picture Becky in her newfound confidence?
In 2-3 sentences, explain what the reader is supposed to infer based on Becky's reaction to Derek's presence.
Use the define feature to look up "indignantly" then figure out what Becky is thinking based on the definition of the word.
The author most likely put these lines in italics to
This dialogue finally puts Luke Brandon to rest. Not only is Becky growing professionally, but she is also growing personally. She is finding her resolutions.
What theme does this line reveal?
Considering what you have learned about Becky and her hardships, why is this conversation with Suze extremely significant?
The fact that Suze "doesn't recognize her friend" is positive because it means Becky has truly changed for the better.
Not only has Becky trumped at the show, she has proven that she is more ________ than Luke Brandon.
When an author paints a character as arrogant in a story, he or she usually finds a way to humble that character. Can you believe Becky is the one to put Luke in his place?
What feeling is this imagery meant to provoke from the reader?
The author is using romantic language in this interaction. Notice how you feel about Luke as you read. (This annotation contains an image)
Which mood has the author created in order to bring a sense of closure to the story?
What happens between Becky and Luke despite all of their tension and conflict?
By ending the story with Becky having a strong romantic life, the author has shown that if you work hard and face your fears, you can have it all. (This annotation contains an image)